Value of an in-depth analysis of unpublished data on the safety of influenza vaccines in pregnant women

Vaccine. 2017 Oct 27;35(45):6154-6159. doi: 10.1016/j.vaccine.2017.09.049. Epub 2017 Sep 27.


Background: Unpublished data can sometimes provide valuable information on the safety of biologic products.

Methods: We assessed information potentially available from regulatory authorities, manufacturers, and public health agencies. We explored 4 recently established vaccine registries, reviewed package inserts from 99 influenza vaccines, and contacted vaccine manufacturers and regulatory agencies for data on influenza vaccine safety in pregnant women.

Results: The vaccine registries did not have sufficient data to analyze and there are problems with the quality of the information. The majority of package inserts provided no product-specific safety information for pregnant women, especially in less developed countries. The majority of available data come from reports gathered from passive adverse event reporting systems in the general population and reports of women enrolled in clinical trials of influenza vaccines who became pregnant at various times before or after receiving influenza vaccine. The information was not collected in a systematic manner, there are inconsistencies in the follow up of pregnant women and the available information about pregnancy outcomes. Considerable resources would be needed to systematically identify all of the information, try to obtain missing follow up information, and conduct analyses. There would be substantial limitations to any attempt to conduct a systematic analysis.

Conclusions: The value of trying to analyze unpublished data on the safety of influenza vaccine in pregnancy is limited and would require considerable resources to thoroughly investigate. Expanding efforts to identify and review unpublished data regarding the safety of influenza vaccines in pregnancy is not likely to produce information of high scientific value or information that could not be identified from publications and other publically available data.

Keywords: Influenza vaccine; Pregnancy; Vaccine safety.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adverse Drug Reaction Reporting Systems
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Influenza Vaccines / adverse effects*
  • Influenza Vaccines / immunology*
  • Influenza, Human / immunology*
  • Influenza, Human / prevention & control*
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications, Infectious / chemically induced
  • Pregnancy Complications, Infectious / immunology
  • Vaccination / adverse effects


  • Influenza Vaccines